Chapter

The Cancerous Tire

Jeffrey Spivak

in Buzz

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780813126432
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135663 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813126432.003.0007
The Cancerous Tire

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This chapter describes a car accident involving Buzz Berkeley, when his convertible car blew a front tire on the Roosevelt Highway near the Santa Monica Canyon. This led to the deaths of Ada von Bresen, William von Briesen, and Peggy Daley. Buzz was charged with manslaughter, that was later upgraded to second-degree murder due to William Hudson's testimony that Buzz was intoxicated during the accident. Warner Brothers hired Jerry Giesler, who just happened to be one of the shrewdest defense attorneys in the state, in order to protect their interests. Giesler's tactic was simple and profound: blame the front left tire for the accident. On Christmas Eve 1935, a hung jury voted ten to two for acquittal. Buzz and Giesler regarded the verdict as a moral victory feeling that the judge's harsh treatment of the defense witnesses backfired with many jurors. And after two retrials, Buzz Berkeley was finally acquitted.

Keywords: Jerry Giesler; Buzz Berkeley; car accident; Warner Brothers; William von Briesen; William A. Hudson; Santa Monica Canyon; Roosevelt Highway

Chapter.  8261 words. 

Subjects: Film

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